Africa’s Top 10 Airlines in 2024

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Airlines are the lifeblood of a connected world, playing a crucial role in both global and regional economies. By transporting people and goods across vast distances, they act as a bridge between nations, fostering trade, tourism, and social development. This impact is particularly significant in Africa, a continent with immense growth potential.


On a worldwide scale, airlines act as a key driver of economic activity. They directly employ millions of people in various sectors, from pilots and cabin crew to ground staff and maintenance personnel. Additionally, the aviation industry fosters a vast network of supporting businesses, from travel agencies and airport operations to manufacturing and logistics. This ripple effect contributes significantly to a nation’s GDP.


Skytrax, an internationally renowned agency that rates airlines all around the world, published its list of the top 100 airlines worldwide lately. African airlines, in particular, gave an excellent performance.

The 2023–2024 survey, known as the “passenger’s choice award,” featured evaluations of over 325 airlines and participation from customers of over 100 different nationalities between September 2023 and May 2024.


Below is the list of airlines with the best performance in Africa for 2024;

Ethiopian Airlines: This is the flag carrier of Ethiopia and is owned by the Ethiopian government. It was founded in 1945 and is one of the largest airlines in Africa. Ethiopian Airlines has a reputation for being a reliable and safe airline with a modern fleet of aircraft.

For the seventh year running, Ethiopian Airlines has been crowned the finest airline on the continent for 2024. Mesfin Tasew, CEO of the Ethiopian Airlines Group, said “We are pleased to have proudly received the prestigious World Airline Award 2024 for the seventh consecutive year. At Ethiopian Airlines, our unwavering dedication to customer-centric innovation has been pivotal to our success. We remain at the forefront of the aviation industry by continually adopting cutting-edge technology to elevate our passengers’ experience.”


Royal Air Maroc: The national airline of Morocco, is also the largest airline in the nation and one of the largest in Africa. RAM is headquartered on the grounds of Casablanca-Anfa Airport and is fully owned by the Moroccan government. In 2020, it became a member of Oneworld.

Since its founding in 1953, it has been instrumental in bringing Morocco and the rest of the globe together. Royal Air Maroc offers flights to more than 50 countries and 90 destinations.


South African Airways: This is the airline of the Republic of South Africa. The airline was established in 1934 and has its headquarters at O. R. Tambo International Airport’s Airways Park in Johannesburg. It has a hub-and-spoke network that serves eleven African destinations. It offers flights to more than 40 foreign locations worldwide, including well-known cities like Sydney, New York, London, and Hong Kong.


Kenya Airways: Kenya’s flag carrier airline is called Kenya Airways. The corporation was established in 1977 following the demise of East African Airways. Its hub is at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and its head office is in Embakasi, Nairobi.

The airline guarantees its passengers safe and comfortable travels with its fleet of over 40 aircraft, which includes Boeing and Embraer models.


RwandAir: Rwanda’s flag carrier airline is called RwandAir Limited. From its primary base at Kigali International Airport in Kigali, it offers both domestic and international routes to East Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.


Air Mauritius: The national airline of Mauritius is called Air Mauritius. The airline has its hub at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport and its headquarters are in Port Louis, Mauritius.


EgyptAir: This is the flag carrier airline of Egypt. It was established in May 1932 and operates scheduled passenger and freight services to more than 75 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.


Airlink: This is a regional airline situated in Johannesburg, South Africa. Its primary activity is providing services between bigger hub airports and smaller, underserved towns. Since then, it has grown to include flights on more extensive mainline routes.


LIFT: This is a South African airline that currently uses a fleet of Global Airways-operated Airbus A320 aircraft to fly domestic routes out of O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.  Lift launched in December 2020 and gained popularity right away for its flexible and customer-focused business approach.


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FlySafair: Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, FlySafair is a low-cost airline operating internationally. It is a Safair subsidiary that operates flights to fifteen locations around Sub-Saharan Africa. For The Love Of Flying is the company motto.


While Africa’s air transport sector is still developing compared to other regions, its importance cannot be overstated. Airlines play a crucial role in overcoming the continent’s vast geographical distances and developing infrastructure. In many cases, air travel is the only viable option for long-distance journeys, connecting businesses, families, and essential services.


The economic impact of airlines in Africa is substantial. The industry directly supports millions of jobs and contributes significantly to the continent’s GDP. Additionally, air travel is a major driver of tourism, a sector with immense potential for growth and development across Africa. By attracting tourists from around the world, airlines can help create jobs, boost infrastructure development, and showcase the continent’s rich cultural heritage.

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